Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Holidays Day 3

After two days spent at Bottle Tree, Wednesday's plan included a little cooking, a little washing, a little tidying and perhaps a little mowing.  Skirtwork, as my Canadian friend Linda likes to call it.

Jess decided a little sewing might be in order, ratted through the sewing cupboard to find a piece of material, then a skirt-pattern and subsequently pestered me all day to help her.  Skirtwork in a most literal sense.

The fabric initially intended for a long-sleeved workshirt,

worked beautifully as a maxi skirt for a mini girl.

Fortunately the mulberry tree continues to provide a bountiful harvest,

with this morning's Mulberry Jelly attempt ending poorly.  Take 2 tomorrow.  Who knew mulberries were a low-pectin fruit?  How did one cook before Google?  Thankfully no such failures with Sarah's donuts for morning tea.

Nor Wallace's Choc-Chip Bikkies , his "best yet", unquote.  Unfortunately no images of said biscuits, just more of these Bottle Tree babies:

Delving into the sewing cupboard today revealed a long-forgotten quilt started some twenty years ago, and as yet incomplete.

More embroidery of farm animals to be finished, a border to be added, as well as wadding and backing, and then quilting.  More googling required.  I think it will be my first and last quilt attempt.  At twenty years per quilt, I'm just not sure how many more I have in me.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Holidays Day 1

A quick trip to Bottle Tree today to check on E/T babies due this past week.

Nine of eighteen were sighted.  The brave one sent forth to determine the sex of shy little ones.  Always a little risky with over-protective mamas watching one's every move.

Equally exciting the discovery of baby swans.  And a small storm resulting in 5 mm of rain while we were there.

Holidays Day 2 will start early with a heifer to AI for a neighbour, and also a prolapse to be re-inserted.  Exciting times indeed.

Jus' Workin'

When Sally was a very little girl, she loved to talk to Nanny and Grandad on the phone, keeping them informed of our daily routine, she still does actually.  When asked what she'd been up to, her response was always the same.  First, a rather dramatic and extended sigh followed by "Jus' workin'".

It's been much the same around here the past couple of weeks.  No elaborate bake-offs to report, no room re-decorating, no gardening make-overs, just the same old, same old.  Watching paddocks turn brown as they do this time of year, ferrying molasses to hungry heifers, preparing bulls for sale in a week's time, irrigating lucerne and more of the mundane.

Reportable incidents over the past couple of weeks do include our first ever town-run.  Feeling like the Beverley hillbillies amongst a sea of Lorna-Jane clad athletes, we did have a lot of fun.  Jess and I ended with a sub-30 5K (which was our hope), Sarah only a few minutes behind.  We decided we'd do it again and have our names down for another next month.

I returned to an empty house a few mornings ago and found the troops gathered around Mama Pig.

Thirteen babies.

Unfortunately, it hasn't gone well, with our very overweight Mama squashing many since.

She is going to find herself involved in a rather intensive diet and exercise program before next pregnancy.  Just think of it as a lifestyle Mama.

We've been into school for a "celebration of learning" afternoon, where parents were treated to drama performances, poetry and a display of pre-recorded advertisements, all part of this term's curriculum.

The only other excitement was a visit from these two goons who found themselves in the pig paddock but seemed to have no recollection of how they got there and how they would get themselves back out.  I was pleased to return from the school run to find them gone.

And today marks the beginning of school holidays.  Our favourite time of the year.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


I'm still running at every given opportunity, though the opportunities don't seem to come as regularly as one would like.  While Winter temperatures were certainly far more conducive to easier runs, the shorter days weren't.  Much of this year I have been running in the shed on the treadmill. B.O.R.I.N.G.  I finally sabotaged Jessie's portable DVD player and have been working my way through the 'Mad Men' series.  Not exactly motivating footage with the levels of smoking, drinking and female oppression on display, but enough to take one's mind off the relentless monotony that treadmill-running involves.  I'm now not sure if it's the running I look forward to, or my daily dose of Don Draper.
Just lately I've headed out the door again.  Finishing the jobs a little earlier of an evening, I've started pounding the track around the front paddock again.  And what a shock that's been to the musculature of my lower limbs.  The rougher terrain obviously using more muscle groups than the smooth ride of the mill.
I find running to music somewhat lessens the pain, both physical and mental and have again taken to the kids' devices.  Both Jessie's and Sarah's ipods feature "Mum's Running" playlists.
And as I recently scrolled through those songs that make up my playlist, I wondered just what do these few say about me.
Bruno Mars  - The Lazy Song
Billy Currington - Beer is Good, God is Great and People are Crazy
Billy Currington - Pretty Good at Drinking Beer
Toby Keith - Whisky for my Men and Beer for my Horses
and a favourite by Miranda Lambert - Only Prettier, with the ending line going something along the lines of "Well I'll keep drinkin' and you'll keep getting skinnier".
This Sunday Sarah, Jessie and I will be up early, hitting the road by six to participate in a fun run at the local University.
Why, I'm asking myself. Why?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Weekly Wrap

The week began and ended with a little fence-repairing,

with a good dash of the same in the middle,

both at Rock Wallaby and Bottle Tree.

Mid-week saw the youngest three and I head to a local Brangus bull sale, Dad summonsed away to attend a sale some seven hundred kilometres to our north.  With budget restrictions in place, we managed to end the day with two bulls in our possession,

unsure yet if Dad is suitably impressed ... though I've the rest of my life to hear about it.

I did enjoy meeting a fellow-blogger at the sale with a smile to brighten anybody's day.

Friday saw us head west for our annual inter-school hockey challenge, a once-a-year opportunity for our youngsters to participate in a team sport.

Jess carried the responsibility of goalie,

Wallace did something in the middle,

as did Sal,

in the junior division.

She surprised us all

coming home with not only a medallion for being a member of the winning team, but also the trophy for highest scoring Junior and Best & Fairest Junior player.

Irrigation has been in place in the lucerne paddock,

with this lot hopefully to be watered only once more before being baled and shedded sometime this month.

Though this little water feature at one of the hydrants not necessarily as it should be!  Something else for the 'to-do' list.

A trip to Bottle Tree yesterday revealing more babies

some easier sighted than others.

This darling looking like she may be carrying more than one!

The troops found time to investigate a dam

spying fish and collecting mussel shells.

Just what we need on the duchess at home.

Sal found time to catch up with a much loved pony

and parents promised that horses would return home with us for the Christmas holidays to allow for a little more joy riding instead of just work riding.

And today was spent at home.

Dad and I returned from a fencing repair job to find marble cake and jam drops for smoko, compliments of the two big girls,

not entirely fitting with our low-carb way of life, but delightful all the same.

Some found time for a little backyard cricket,

while the crowd of onlookers went wild.  And yes I will be starting sprinklers in the houseyard this week.

Late afternoon saw a group of urchins atop the pig pen searching for ripe mulberries,

Many not ripe yet, that I hope will find their way to the kitchen to be converted to Mulberry Jelly (if not muffins and pies).

And in more exciting news, oldest daughter not only ironed her own uniform for tomorrow, but Dad's work clothes as well.

News to warm the soul indeed.


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